Monday, March 24, 2014

Sealed Up

 Note: this all happened in waaayyyy back in November.  You can see the last installment here. I'm catching the blog up with life! 

Story #1:  A friend of the family was moving and my Mom suggested we head over to their garage sale.  They owned a day care and worked in construction, so what they would be selling was right up our ally.  We got a pretty good price on a water table for the kids... 

...and then these.  There were at least 3 sets of pump jacks  priced at $10 a pair.  We just spent $100 for ours, so we were completely kicking ourselves.  I had scoured craigslist but nothing came up.  Yet there these were.  Completely bummed, we bought a pair anyway.  Not that we needed another set, but because...

...they came with two of these too.  We skipped out on buying these braces originally because it would add another $40 to the cost of our system, and we didn't even know if they would work.

So despite feeling bummed that I missed out on a great deal, we cut our loses and bought all four (FOR $10. Ten Dollars!!).  I thought about buying a second set, just for more braces, but we could not have fit them in the car.  These were already riding shotgun with me.

(I even tried to buy the braces separately, telling the owner that I was just planning on reselling them, but he said no way, and that I wouldn't find a buyer for the jacks alone.  His loss I guess.  I already sold them and got my $10 back.)

Right.  Back to the real point.  So now armed with better tools, we raised our posts up.  Planning ahead, I had already made the posts tall enough to use on this side (28 feet, I think?).

Story #2 - I don't have any pictures here, but the plan was to set the posts up, as we did above, put the tall ladder up, and then climb the latter up and screw the posts to the wall.  Pretty obvious plan, right?  So, Jon and I set the ladder up together, and given that Jon is more expendable has longer arms,we decided Jon would climb the ladder.  I would support him by handing him the drill out the window and holding up the siding.

So Jon starts climbing the ladder, and I run up two flights of stairs with the drill.  I get there, look at the top of the ladder and he's not there.  Scanning downward I find him.  Two steps up.  Completely frozen.  I laughed my butt off.  He really doesn't like heights.

Alas,  I came back down and I climbed the ladder, which I will not lie, was a harrowing experience.  It shakes a lot, it's really high up, and for most of the climb you're at least10 feet away from any surface.  I can understand Jon's trepidation.  However, not to be outdone (and because my knees were shaking), Jon bravely installed the second post.

I have to say, I am so stinking glad we bought the braces.  It was SO much easier than the wood posts, especially on a tall ladder, and all we needed to do was lift up the siding once we got there.

So up the posts go, and on goes the pump jacks. We installed a second set of wood braces just above the garage door because the span was so long.  It really helped with the stability.  (Given that it's mid November, the sun sets super early.  Most of these pictures will be dark.  )

Now we were back in business to replace this window.  We didn't have much in the way of outdoor lighting, so for a time, we just brought our lamp out.  It worked surprisingly well (as long as the weather was good.

 Which is wasn't for a lot of this project.  Using the tops of the poles, we made ourselves a little awning though, and just carried on.  As long as it was just rain, and not snow I was okay.

There was still some rotted wood, but all in all, the amount of rot wasn't that bad.

Story #3: At some point in all this demo, a neighbor (whom I work with) stopped by and checked out our progress.  We had installed the other boys room window at that point, and looking at it, he asked "Is that an egress window?"

Yeah, I had no idea that was a code thing, and no it was not an egress window.  Given that I was hoping to use that same size window on this side, I wasn't too happy with myself.  As I mentioned in this post, we had gone with smaller windows.  Well, the money was already spent, but at least the second window wasn't in yet.  So we bought another window, this time egress, for this side.  We decided it would be best to still keep it 4" shorter than it was, and go with a larger width.... Which meant we had to move the entire side stud and header.


Once that was all torn out, it was time for framing, which although a lot harder than all the other jobs, was doable.

 Once ever thing was flashed and sealed it was time for the window install.  I hadn't snapped many pictures of the install before, but we always had to seal the edges with caulk.  A great job for a tall husband.

While he wrapped that up, I carried the window up from the basement.  Two flights of stairs!  I was dang proud of my tiny self.

And boom! The last window we planned on getting in before winter is in!

Like the other, there's still lots of work to do on both the outside and the inside, but at least our home doesn't have any more giant holes in it.

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